Happy Helpers: Inspiring Inclusion One Community at a Time

Nine years ago, we started with a small team of five mothers. 

As a social enterprise cleaning company, Happy Helpers dreams of uplifting mothers from vulnerable communities and transforming their lives beyond providing financial opportunities. In pursuit of this dream, we partnered with Filipina mothers from Barangay Pinagsama, Taguig, and offered home cleaning services within nearby areas in Metro Manila. These professional cleaning services included the flagship house cleaning service, the Deep Cleaning Service, Post Construction Cleaning Service, Move-in & Move-out Cleaning Service, Hyla®️ Upholstery Cleaning Service, Aircon Cleaning Service, and Disinfection Services.

There is a notion that a woman’s role is limited to supporting the lives of her husband and children - leading to demeaning labels that they are “babae lang” (“just women”) or “nanay lang” (“just mothers”). In the second episode of The Spark Project’s podcast, Why She Works, our co-founder, Maan Sicam, shared: “Noong nag-iinterview kami ng mga Nanay, we had exactly the same problem - ‘Nanay lang ako’ o ‘housewife lang ako’ - I heard it so many times when we were starting Happy Helpers na nainis ako. No, you cannot say that. Your contribution is so much. [When we were interviewing mothers, we had exactly the same problem - ‘I’m just a mother’ or ‘I’m just a housewife’ - I heard it so many times when we were starting Happy Helpers that I just couldn’t take it. No, you cannot say that. Your contribution is so much.]”

Happy Helpers challenges this preconception by encouraging these mothers to continuously dream for themselves - that having dreams for their families does not mean that they need to sacrifice their own. In the same podcast, Maan emphasized: “The mission of Happy Helpers is for these mothers to see their value and see the better versions of themselves. So how do we do that? How do we make sure that they feel that self-worth? Because they are mothers. I am valuable because I am a woman, because I am a mother.”

Prior to joining Happy Helpers six years ago, Alfe Delgado shared that her entire world revolved around her husband, children, and the four corners of their home. During her time with Happy Helpers, she realized, “
Marami po akong natutunan sa Happy Helpers…sa pagiging masaya bilang nanay dahil hindi lang po pala, bilang isang babae na dapat nakadepende sa asawa ko, kundi, magtulungan sa bawat problema at sa gastusin sa loob ng pamamahay. [Happy Helpers has taught me a lot…It has taught me to be happy as a mother - I learned that as a woman, I do not need to simply be dependent on my husband. Instead, I can help with every problem and expense that we face.]”

Nelly Señora, a mother of three, initially worked as a bank CCTV operator, but resigned due to her 24 hour shift schedule. After her husband lost his job, she joined Happy Helpers and has been supporting her family as the sole breadwinner. “
Pero bilang nanay, hindi ko po inaaksaya o inaksaya ang oras ko po para manatili lang sa bahay - gusto kong makatulong sa aking pamilya, lalo na sa aking mga anak. At kung paano nakatulong sa akin ang Happy Helpers sa pamamagitan na dito kong kinukuha ang aking mga foods, billings, projects sa school ng mga anak na tatlo kong anak dahil nawalan ng trabaho ang mister ko. [As a mother, I avoid wasting time by simple staying at home - I want to help my family, especially my children, and it is through Happy Helpers that I am able to do this. It is how I am able to afford food, pay my bills, and help my three children with their school projects, especially since my husband lost his job.]”

At present, Happy Helpers continues to pursue its dream and takes it a step further by uplifting Filipina mothers from communities outside Barangay Pinagsama, Taguig. In 2022, through the support of the Ateneo Tulong Sulong project, we opened our second branch in Quezon City and are currently collaborating with women from the Daan Tubo Association. Last year, we opened our new Muntinlupa branch, expanding our
cleaning service area coverage beyond Metro Manila to include homes and offices located in Cavite and Laguna. 

Since opening in 2015, Happy Helpers has trained and collaborated with over 250 women, and currently has a growing team composed of 70 Filipina women. This International Women’s Day, we celebrate these amazing women from all walks of life, from single mothers to family breadwinners to housewives, and recognize the significant contributions they have made. As a social enterprise cleaning company, we will continue to empower Filipina women toward a more inclusive future where they will see their own value, that they are not “just mothers” or “just housewives”, limited to the role society has placed them in. An inclusive future where they can dream for themselves and transform their own dreams into reality.

Written by Andie Miranda
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